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They had dreamed of seeing Niagara Falls since they were children in Zimbabwe, on the other side of the Atlantic. Last week, while visiting friends in Ohio, James and Sta Maodzwa decided they would make the trip to Niagara. [PHOTO GALLERY: Niagara Falls at dawn] Accompanied by their nephew Tongai and their 12-year-old son Ngoni, they booked a room at the Holiday Inn …

You haven't lived until you've seen a pretty young woman in blonde pigtails pop a live tarantula into her mouth, pucker her closed lips and play the harmonica. Badly. Very badly. Her name, according to "The Gong Show" was "Mary Bleeds." Online, you can discover the incidental info that her pet tarantula's name was "Midas" but, frankly, I was too traumatized by it all…

ALBANY – It’s been more than two years since the Politics Column was last dispatched to the State Capitol to chronicle the proceedings of New York State government. Could it have proven too long an absence, especially when the yellowed electronic card granting access to the Capitol started beeping against the monitor, and attracting the attention of a very serious-l…

This is my 18th year as a golfer. Go ahead and laugh. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere. My game isn't what you would call mature. It's impulsive, temperamental and still prone to throwing the occasional club. But I love it just the same. It continues to amaze me how many people care, nearly two decades after my series on trying to break 100. My wife tells me t…

Even the way Steve Boyd met Mickey Osterreicher was unforgettable, and distinctly Buffalo. In 1989, Boyd was on his first day as a television reporter with Channel 7. He was a passenger in a car driven northbound by a cameraman on Interstate 190, through downtown. Boyd learned he'd been reassigned to a story about the nuclear waste dump in West Valley. Osterreicher was …

It’s here. High school graduation. Like many parents, I have mixed emotions – including feeling excited about my daughter embarking on a new life at college. If only I survive senior summer. Come late August, we will no longer have the cello in the living room, the pile of shoes by the back door, the backpack on the kitchen chair. Our inventory of phone and lapto…

Doug Cameron is a guy who knew some answers. A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on the day in 1976 when Southern rock legend Gregg Allman, in Buffalo for treatment for addiction, did a surprise concert at Canisius High School. He startled hundreds of students gathered for what they thought would be a routine assembly. Allman died a few weeks ago, from complications relate…

As one of Chris Collins’ 27th District constituents, I have no objection to the congressman being armed the next time I attend a rally to tell him what a great job he’s doing – at least in theory, I don’t object. As they continually remind us at one of my gun clubs, cops don’t prevent crimes. They solve them. The stark reality is this: You are your own first def…

It will never happen here, but it can get too hot for some airplanes to fly. You may have heard how there have been flight cancellations during the current heat wave in the Southwest. Marshall Shepherd, former American Meteorological Society president and current chairman of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, has just written a refresher article for Forb…

This year will go down in local music history, for it was during March that Westside Gunn & Conway became the first Buffalo hip-hop artists to sign with a major label. Eminem's Shady Records, a subsidiary of Interscope, scooped up everything that Westside Gunn – born Alvin Worthy in Buffalo in 1982 – releases beneath his Griselda Records imprimatur. This is huge…

You never know. I was actually looking forward to "Rough Night." The minute I heard it was a feminist remake of Peter Berg's "Very Bad Things" starring Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, I was ready to see it right then and there. I wouldn't have crawled over barbed wire to get to it but I'd have endured a little hardship. I was eager to see "Snatched" starring Am…

Henry James said, “Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” Also beautiful is the fact that I no longer have to spend the two hours between work and bedtime commuting, doing homework and making dinner. School is out, bedtime is optional and there’s plenty of time to make summer magic with my family. It…

The decision to travel to Buffalo was really made six years ago, when Jorge Suarez Ronda held his newborn son for the first time. The doctors in Cuba had already told Jorge and his wife Vanaisy there could be no guarantees. They could not promise that little Diego would survive. The infant weighed only 3 pounds at birth. He was born with severe developmental disabilitie…

WASHINGTON – Many thoughtful observers say this is not the time to become ensnared in the politics of gun control while the life of one of the top leaders of the House Republican majority hangs in the balance. Everyone’s prayers should be with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his family, and all victims of the horrendous near-massacre at a baseball field in Ale…

June may signal the end of the school year but for me, it also always meant strawberry season. I have sweet memories of piling in my mother’s Buick station wagon and barreling down some country road to a U-pick farm. Upon arrival, my mother – with canvas Grasshoppers on her feet and a sun hat on her head – would give us our marching orders. We would pick and pick …